I’m Not Saying Goodbye

Cameron McCallie

As I was closing down Brody late Saturday night after the final reading of Dead White Men, Jacob’s words from the end of our final class happened to slip into my head: “There’s always a home in theater”. I looked around at the now bare stage and was inundated with memories from my experiences in Brody alone. I remembered the kitchen of a clerk’s house in turn-of-the-century Germany (The Underpants), I remembered the streets of a contested New York in 1800 (Dead White Men), and I remembered a bleak, downtrodden circus in Victorian London (Nevermore). The shows will change. The stage will take new forms. The people will change. But the magic of theater will never die.

And that is why I refuse to say goodbye to this show.

I will hold in my heart exactly how it felt to be on that stage. To own that story. To be a part of an experience far greater than myself. To transport every soul in that theater to Laramie, Wyoming. There’s always some intangible feeling that I keep with me from every show I’ve ever been in – each one unique, each one magical. I see an animated Galloway, I hear Marge and Reggie joyous laughter, I feel the Judy and Dennis’ pain through Rulon’s words, and I remember the feeling at the end of every show- The feeling of taking an audience through such a remarkable and emotional journey, perfectly punctuated by Bart’s crescendo over Andy Paris’ final view of the sparkling lights in the distance.

The show may be over, but the feelings and memories will always remain.

As an epilogue (of sorts) to this blog post, I am proud to say that this play has effectively rekindled my interest in theater in a dramatic (pun!) way. At the start of the semester, I had just given up interest on a senior distinction project and was telling myself that Laramie might be the end of the road for my theatrical endeavors, as I was going to focus more of my time on software development. And then came an angel in the form of Mr. Ben Bergmann and his play, which in combination with the incredible Laramie family and experience had me as excited about theater as I was when I went to London. I now see a future full of theater, and I owe each and every one of you my thanks for making that possible. No matter the show, the place, or the cast, there will always be a home on the stage.


2 thoughts on “I’m Not Saying Goodbye

  1. Cameron,

    I’m gonna float an idea (dramaturg’s prerogative) … in your software development explorations, might you consider working on a program that allow productions to extend the reach of the stage to take greater advantage of the wider web? Something that might mix the video capabilities of YouTube but which isn’t just a way to host video content? I’m completely serious about this.

    Theater is grappling with virtual spaces (certainly for marketing purposes) and technologies but these often means adapting current systems to our performances (for example, a production of Taming of the Shrew done in someone’s Twitter feed, merging video and embodied performance on stage, or like this blog which produces a lot of text that tries to open our process to a wider audience but largely reaches those folks who go looking for it) but not necessarily taking advantage of other arts disciplines in using it as a tool to *make* as well as archive performance. I’m thinking of the recent “virtual choir” that gathered together to perform while remaining in their own respective countries http://www.npr.org/2011/04/06/135181815/theyve-never-met-but-2000-singers-perform-together. Though I’m fully aware that this isn’t necessarily a in-depth exploration of the possibilities of the digital.

    I’m not sure whether I’m just offering you food for thought for a distinction/performance project of your own for next year or whether I’m just interested in chatting with you, as a developer, about the process of making and archiving “live” performance beyond just uploading video. I’m in search of ways to mine the interwebs : ) for fitting locations to have the kind of interface within and beyond the production that we’ve had with Laramie, knowing full well that a blog isn’t always the best way/place for that.

    I’m also asking as part of an American Theater Archive Project which is trying to encourage and find ways for university and professional theaters to archive and maintain their work in digital (as well as physically material) domains. I have impressions and feelings about how the practice of archiving should happen, but I know I’ve not got the breadth or depth of knowledge about what’s technologically possible to articulate best practices. So I’m eager to have that kind of conversation with someone who knows the technology and its terrain with greater expertise.

    As I mentioned to Kimi, I’m just thinking of this as “au revoir” — until the next — not goodbye!


  2. Cam,

    One always knows when they belong in the theater. Its a powerful medium and no matter what you end up doing, you will know you havete ability to create stories to share, problem solve:weaving the given circumstances, know the power of communication and hone your ability to articulate what you see in your mind.
    No matter what you do those talents will guide you.

    I am excited for real inspector hound. I think there’s nothing better than doing a smart play like that well. And you are just the guy for the job.

    I also look forward to your auditioning for Ragtime. Let me know if you want to explore ADing. I would be proud to work with you.

    Thank you for your talent and your passion. I look forward to a glorius senior year for you. Thanks for all your hard work.

    XO, Jeffrey

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